Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Lights on NE Broadway Celebration

Throughout the month of December you'll find unique gifts, personalized service, special sales, holiday food and drink, and all sorts of general merriment in the NE Broadway neighborhood during our Lights on NE Broadway Celebration. On Thursday, December 8th, from 5 pm to 8 pm, several merchants are participating in a special Ladies Night Out, with even greater deals and still more merriment!

At Broadway Books, we'll have a little nosh for you, as well as a wine tasting sponsored by Zerba Cellars, a scrumptious family-owned, estate winery located in the heart of the Walla Walla Valley. Wine Press Northwest named Zerba Cellars Winery of the Year in 2011. I grew up in Walla Walla and go there frequently to visit family and partake of all the wonderful new wine coming from the valley. Zerba is one of my favorites and is a regular stop on my way into town.

If you spend $30 or more at Broadway Books during Ladies Night Out, we'll give you a free booklover's calendar! We have all kinds of wonderful books in the store right now -- for gifts or for yourself -- as well as games and puzzles and calendars and cards and Christmas & Hanukkah goodies and all kinds of fun stuff.

As always, you can go to the NEBroadway website to get details on these events and on all the other cool stuff going on in the neighborhood. And don't forget about our 2011 Holiday Book Guide for great gift ideas.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Take Home Your Own Cuddly Olivia -- and more!

As you're working your way through your holiday shopping list this year, please note that besides fabulous books for kids, we also have some delightful plush characters from children's books that could be just the ticket for your younger gift recipients. We've got characters from all sorts of popular children's books, including Olivia (my personal favorite), Otis the Tractor, Rocket (who learned to read), Llama Llama, Pete the Cat, Ladybug Girl, Penny (and her song), the polar bear from On the Day You Were Born, and Stillwater the panda from the wonderful Jon Muth books. Last, but not not least -- or maybe least (Roberta made me do it, really) -- Walter the Farting Dog. These lovely soft characters range from $10 to $18 and are made by MerryMakers.

MerryMakers was founded in 1993 with the goal of providing carefully designed dolls and toys based on the very best children's books, museum collections, and other characters. Their products meet the recently revised safety requirements and will still be deemed Safe For All Ages under the new regulations.

Quantities of each are limited, so come early for the best selection!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

It's Civil War Day!

In honor of today's Civil War football game, check out these cool 2012 calendars with vintage posters from UO and OSU football teams -- we've got one for Duck fans and one for Beaver fans. Personally, I come from a broken family: my parents are Beavers and I'm a Duck fan, so I'm probably going to have to pick up one of each.

We've got lots more 2012 calendars, if football posters aren't to your liking. So far I've picked up a sock monkey calendar and a gorgeous Cavallini garden calendar for my kitchn. I usually buy a handful of Oregon calendars  -- one for me and the rest as gifts; we have several different Oregon calendars from which to choose, showcasing the splendor of our state. Many of our calendars are one-time shots: once they're gone, they're gone for good, so shop early for the best selection.

Thanks to our new extended holiday shopping hours, we're open both before and after game time -- we open at 10 am today and we don't close until 9 pm. Those are our hours every day of the week until Christmas Eve, except for Sundays when we'll be open from 10 am to 7 pm until Christmas Eve. Here's to a great Civil War!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Turn Black Friday to Book Friday

Oregon writer Scott Sparling, author of the novel Wire to Wire (published by Tin House Books), wrote a blog post recently that we thought was brilliant. Here's some of what he had to say (I encourage you to read the full blog):

Despite what you may have heard from various small-minded people in my past, I am not the one who ruined Christmas. But I do know how to save it.
On the day after Thanksgiving, go out and buy anything you want…just as long as it’s a book. That’s how we’re saving Christmas this year. Forget Black Friday. It’s Book Friday now.
And by go out, I mean to a physical bookstore with a real bookseller inside. From what I’ve heard, last Christmas was tough for some independent bookstores. Chances are, your favorite record store is already gone. If your favorite bookstore is still open, use the power of your holiday spending to help keep it that way. Go out on Book Friday and buy books for everyone....
Or let’s say I invite you over to the house for a holiday dinner (which I won’t, but hypothetically). Don’t show up with a bottle of wine or flowers as your gift. Bring me a book.....
But which books, you wonder? Well, the one I wrote would be a fine choice. But so would any other. How about one of the National Book Award winners, or all of them? How about the equally fine or finer books unrecognized by awards? Perhaps you could find a website that recommends good books. There must be one somewhere.....
They do have to be real books, however. With physical pages and covers. That’s what Book Friday is all about....
How many books should you buy on Book Friday? Simple. Just take the prime number closest to your hat size, multiple by the number of letters in your last name, and divide by the speed of a bus traveling from Baltimore to Poughkeepsie. Knowing you, that's probably three or four. 
Also, I know you like sitting at your computer and sending money to far-away places, listening into the ether for the efficient whir of gears as robots robo-pack your purchases. That’s not gonna cut it this year. No sexy UPS guy with a package from Amazon is gonna get us out of the mess we’re in. The bottom line is this: Independent bookstores are good for our communities and good for America...and the world, come to think of it. Basically, if you don’t support your local booksellers, you’ll be ruining more than Christmas. You’ll be ruining the future. And you wouldn't want that rumor to get around.
So head out to your favorite bookstores on Book Friday, and stock up. I’ll be out there with you. Do it for the local economy, for the people you love, for me, for my mom, or for yourself.

Indie Reader App for Android

If you've been hankering for an easy way to purchase ebooks from your local independent bookstore (ahem), check out this new app from Indiebound called IndieReader. It's a slick new app that allows you to set up your preferred independent bookstore and then browse and buy ebooks easily. Currently it's available for Android devices and will shortly be available for iOS devices (read: Apple). I downloaded it onto my Android phone and it worked like a charm, just a few quick taps. Once I had purchased the book through IndieReader, I could read it on any of my eReading devices.

The application was created by the American Booksellers Association and Bluefire Productions, an independent software company in Seattle. (We're big on independents!)

IndieBound is a community-oriented movement begun by the American Booksellers Association that brings together booksellers, readers, indie retailers, local business alliances, and anyone else with a passionate belief that healthy local economies help communities thrive. Successful local, indie businesses help dollars, jobs, diversity, choice, and taxes stay local, creating strong, unique communities and happy citizens.

You can download the app from the Android Market or from IndieBound. Or you can download it at our store -- just look for the QR code.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Book Drive for Roosevelt High School

This year, Broadway Books is dedicating our annual book drive to Roosevelt High School. Librarian Betsy Tighe, a dedicated and energetic soul, wrote this to us: “For four years, RHS library was staffed only by a library assistant.  Last year, RHS was able to hire a certified media specialist on a grant it had received from the Federal Department of Education.  However, the grant does not contain funds for materials.” We’re bound and determined to help them with that! 

They need adult and young adult fiction, graphic novels,  nonfiction in the areas of science, medicine, world cultures, and food,  Asian and African literature, and Somali dictionaries. Here’s our proposal:  from November 25th through December 31st, we’ll give you 20% off any book you buy for the RHS library. We've got their wish list behind the counter if you want to buy something from their list. Or you can donate money and we’ll increase your donation by 20% and let Ms. Tighe and her students will choose books for the library’s collection. Either way: Yay! A win-win for sure. Each year our customers have shown themselves to be thoughtfully supportive of the schools we "drive" for -- we thank you, and the kids thank you.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Fun and Games at Broadway Books

This season we’re stocking a wide selection of puzzles and games for family fun!

Please check out our new puzzle section at the front of the store (next to magazines) and you’ll find 300-piece puzzles for the whole family, as well as more advanced 1000-piece puzzles.  We also have block puzzles, each of which have nine cubes, with six pictures to complete.  Most of our puzzles feature reproductions of paintings. A few have nature photography. All of them make cool gifts that are good for hours and hours of family togetherness.  

We also have four different memory games, for ages 3 to 103.  Each box features a set of cards that are placed face down on a table, and pairs are turned over in turn by each player until pairs are discovered and collected (those of you who are as old as I am will remember the old TV show “Concentration”). The games are in themes: Incredible Insects, Artful Animals, B Kliban Cats, and Hieroglyphs from A to Z

Don’t forget everyone’s favorite, Bananagrams! And also from the Bananagrams people, four other fun games to take with you and play anywhere:
  • Pairs in Pears: A fun word game played with 4 alphabets, each in a different pattern. For 2-4 players, age 6 and up.
  • Appletters: A new domino game. You don’t connect the dots, you connect the letters! For 2-4 players, age 6 and up.
  • Zip-It: A 20-second crossword race you can play anyplace.  For 2 players, age 7 and up.
  • Fruitominoes:  Just like dominoes, with pictures of fruit instead of dots. For 2-4 players, age 5 and up.
 And we think you’ll love these two new games:
  • Tell Tale: Using cards with a variety of images ranging from the charming to the ordinary, encompassing a range of situations, players improvise stories. You will love the way this game gives everyone's imagination a chance to shine. For 1 to 8 players, age 5 and up.
  • Spot It!: This is a good game for pre-readers. There is always one, and only one, matching symbol between any two cards in this game. Spot it and you win! A sharp eye and a little bit of speed is all it takes to play the 4 quick party games included. For 2 to 8 players, age 7 and up. 
These games and puzzles make great stocking stuffers and holiday party gifts and offer hours of entertainment for all the family time during the holidays. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Look Before You Leap into the Fire

I'll just come right out and say it: I'm a much bigger fan of ink-on-paper books than I am of ebooks. There. I've said it. Call me old-fashioned, but I love the feel of a book, the look of the font, yes even the smell of a book, and I have been known to judge a book by its cover.

Having gotten that confession out of the way, I will also say that I can see the merit to ebooks. For instance, my mother is a former librarian and a voracious reader who is burdened by macular degeneration, which makes it difficult for her to read traditional print books. She is currently experimenting with reading on an ereader (The Nook Simple Touch) on which she can expand the type size.

I can also appreciate the advantages of carrying multiple books on a single device when traveling by plane, rather than lugging around a back-ache-inducing sackful of books. I'm even tempted to read the new Stephen King book (which clocks in at 800+ pages) electronically, rather than toting around the tome itself (although it is awfully good looking).

This week is a big week in the electronics world, as both the Nook Tablet and the Kindle Fire tablet are being released, and both are getting lots of media hype. If anyone out there is considering buying one of these tablets, or another brand of tablet or ereader, I think it's essential that you understand one thing very clearly: If you purchase an Amazon product (Kindle Fire, Kindle Touch, etc) you will ONLY be able to buy content for that product from Amazon. Every other seller of ereaders allows you to purchase books from your local independent bookseller. Amazon does not. 

In fact, Barnes and Noble, which sells the Nook family of ereaders has clearly decided that the customer should be in charge of content decisions. Of course, the company would prefer that you buy books from its own bookstore, and it's made it easy for you to do so, but they don't insist; they let you decide. Amazon takes that choice out of your hands.

Today NPR ran a story about the pricing of Amazon's new Kindle Fire, stating that Amazon is selling the KF for less than its manufacturing costs (not to mention all of the related marketing costs). Why would they do that? Because the company expects to make A LOT of money from everyone who buys one of its devices:

"Once you're inside Amazon's ecosystem, there are a whole bunch of ways they can make money off you. You buy Amazon's books, movies, and music. You buy Amazon's apps. You see Amazon's ads. There's no Apple store on an Amazon device. You're locked in. This is the model printer manufacturers often use. You can buy a decent printer for $40 — less than it costs to produce. That's because printer companies make all their money selling ink cartridges to go in the printers."

Basically, Amazon is putting a storefront in your hands, where it makes money on everything you do with the device. So why not sell it below cost? It's like the phone companies who give away phones or sell them cheaply because they they know once they have you locked into a contract they can more than make up the difference. Ugh. Count me out!

Personally, I am opting for the Nook Simple Touch and the Nook Tablet. The December 2011 issue of Consumer Reports gives the Simple Touch its highest rating -- and that was before Barnes & Noble dropped the price of the device to $99! It's got fast page turns, sharp text, and an amazingly long battery life -- and no annoying ads to get in your way.

I opted for the Nook Tablet because it has ample storage (16 GB with micro SD card slot for additional storage -- versus Kindle Fire's 512 MG of RAM and 8 GB of storage with no capability to add storage) and a long battery life. But primarily I opted for the Nook Tablet because I applaud B&N's willingness to open up its devices to multiple content providers, enabling users of its devices to continue to support their local independent bookstores.

With the holidays fast upon us, I'm sure many people are considering the purchase of ereaders or tablets. I encourage you to evaluate your decision carefully. It's not just about the upfront cost of the device. Would you buy a car if you could only buy gas for that car from a single service station? It might be fine for a while, but what if that service station decides to dramatically increase its prices? Or delivers bad gas? You would be stuck, because you would have no other options. Giving someone a device that essentially controls them is not a gift; it's a burden. Give the gift of choice. Of options. Of freedom. Better yet, just give them a book. (I couldn't resist!)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Novelists Rae Richen to Read Tonight

We are so excited to welcome our friend and neighbor, Rae Richen, to Broadway Books tonight to read from her recently published novel Uncharted Territory, a coming-of-age novel written for young adults and adults who enjoy a triumph of life over fear. Uncharted Territory is the story of seventeen-year-old Jack Huntington, all-state athlete and accomplished mountain climber. When a climbing accident nearly takes his life, Jack is forced to face his greatest fear. To save his family, Jack must recognize the vast difference between physical and emotional courage.

Writer Molly Gloss calls Uncharted Territory "a remarkable novel, evoking, with fresh insight, the complexity and fragility of families, of relationships, and of life itself." And Larry Brooks says that Rae writes with "a deft touch that penetrates the reader long after the book hits the shelf for the night." Jennie Shortridge says the novel is a great read for teens and parents both -- "especially when shared."

Before becoming a writer, Rae taught French and English literature, music, and history in the public schools. She enjoys hikes and mountain climbs with her family. Rae played violin in the Oregon Chamber Music Society and gave duet concerts with the fine pianist, Carol Kilmer. 

Her short stories, poetry and articles have appeared in anthologies of northwest authors, in pacific northwest newspapers and in Writers’ Northwest Handbook. She recently became president of Oregon Writers Colony, a regional organization supporting writers.

Rae's mom was a drama teacher, a poet, and a Pacifist; her dad was a musician and teacher who became the director of city-wide classes for gifted children. One of her strongest memories from growing up is a lot of humor – "meals together and laughter you wouldn’t believe....We ate together, at least two meals a day, and our parents talked with us about the world, local politics, national politics, the functions or lack of function in the United Nations. They talked about how to work with, and when to stand up to, the bullies on the playground or in our classrooms. They talked about books, theater, music, the death of a pet or a grandparent. No taboo topics at the table except bathroom functions and sex."

We hope you can join us tonight at 7pm to hear Rae read from her new novel.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Free Copy of Matterhorn This Weekend!

In 1969, at the age of twenty-three, Karl Marlantes was dropped into the highland jungle of Vietnam, an inexperienced second lieutenant in command of a platoon of forty Marines who would live or die by his decisions. Marlantes, who grew up in Seaside and now lives in rural Western Washington, spent decades writing about that experience in the novel Matterhorn, which was published to great acclaim last year -- among its many awards it was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and was selected as the Adult Debut Book of the Year by independent booksellers nationwide. We wrote about Matterhorn in our blog last year.

This year he has written a nonfiction book -- one that is deeply personal and candid -- on what it is like to experience the ordeal or combat. In What It Is Like to Go to War, Marlantes weaves riveting accounts of his combat experiences with thoughtful analysis, self-examination, and his readings -- from Homer to the Mahabharata to Jung. In his new book he tells frankly about how his is haunted by the face of the young North Vietnamese soldier he killed at close quarters and how he finally found a way to make peace with his past, and he makes it clear just how poorly prepared our soldiers are for the psychological and spiritual aspects of war. You can listen to an interview with Marlantes on NPR here.

For the Veterans Day weekend only, anyone buying a copy of What It Is Like to Go to War will receive a free copy of Marlantes' bestselling novel Matterhorn. This is offer is only good for books purchased Friday through Sunday, November 11-13.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

George Wright Has the Newport Blues

Broadway Books is happy to welcome back George Wright, a native Oregonian and a true friend of independent booksellers. George reads tonight at 7 from his fifth novel, Newport Blues, A Salesman's Lament.

George is a true Oregonian -- born in The Dalles and living in Baker City, Tillamook, and Roseburg growing up, and finally Portland, where he lives now with his wife Betsy. His "Oregon Trio" series of novels celebrate the small Oregon towns in which he was raised: Baker City 1948 was published in 2005, followed by Tillamook 1952, and Roseburg 1959.

In 2010, George moved from historical fiction to more contemporary fiction, but still honoring life in rural and small-town Oregon, publishing Driving to Vernonia and now his recently published novel, Newport Blues, A Salesman's Lament.

George's fiction-writing career blossomed after a lengthy career in the not-for-profit sector (primarily with the American Lung Association of Oregon) in which he wrote professionally, publishing books on management and board development, but finally returning to the writing he had first started at around age eight or nine. "The passion to create characters and tell their stories is something that has always just been there for me." 

His inspiration for Sidney Lister. the main character in Newport Blues, came from an obituary George read in The Oregonian of someone who just happened to have the same last name as George. Sidney is a ground-down ex-salesman who has been reduced to working as a shipping clerk for the small import gift business and is barely getting by. When the company's salesman dies, Sidney steps into Jonesy's shoes and begins a sales run down the Oregon Coast. At the same time, Sidney is being hunted down by a man from his past who suddenly wants him dead. Sidney is making one last grasp for life’s brass ring and hoping to live to enjoy it.

The book is filled with familiar landmarks and places - Seaside, Cannon Beach, Astoria, and lots of sites in the Newport area such as Nye Beach and Fisherman's Memorial. The book’s cover features the Yaquina Bay Bridge, which also serves as the site of a wild car chase -- which means this is probably the first time in the history of the store that we've had readings two months in a row from books featuring the Yaquina Bay Bridge on the covers! (Matt Love was here last month reading from his new book, Love & The Green Lady, all about the beautiful bridge.) 

George wrote the story from the premise that everyone is a salesman in some fashion: be it a product, a service, a cause or even an opinion. George knows a thing or two about sales. Because he runs his own publishing company, he not only writes his own books -- hard enough work, that! -- but he also handles the printing, distribution, marketing, and sales as well: "The writing eventually is over; the marketing never is." 

We hope you can join us tonight at 7 to hear George read from his new novel.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Two Judiths Return to Broadway!

Tonight at 7 we bring back An Evening with the Two Judiths, featuring local authors Judith Arcana and Judith Barrington. It is sure to be a lively event; we hope you can join us.

Born and raised in the Great Lakes region and now living in Portland, Judith Arcana is a writer of poems, stories, essays, and books and a longtime scholar, teacher, and activist. Her work is published in many journals, online, and on paper. Judith A's latest collections are a poetry chapbook (4th Period English), a signed/numbered edition five-poem broadside (POEMS) and a chapbook manuscript in an envelope (Family Business). These three comprise the Ash Creek Series. Her most recent full-length book is What if your mother, a collection of poems and monologues examining a constellation of motherhood themes rarely offered with such richness, including abortion, adoption, miscarriage, and the contemporary biotechnology of childbirth. Judith A is also the author of Grace Paley's Life Stories, a Literary Biography. She is a Jane -- a member of the Chicago underground service that helped more than eleven thousand women and girls get safe illegal abortions before the US Supreme Court ruled on Roe v. Wade in 1973. In 1972, she was one of seven Janes arrested by the Chicago police.

Judith A has a PhD in Literature, an MA in Women's Studies, an Urban Preceptorship in Preventive Medicine, and a BA in English. She’s taught in high schools, colleges, libraries, living rooms and many other other places. Recently she's completed a fiction manuscript and a big bucket of new poems.

Judith Barrington was born in Brighton, England, and moved to the United States in 1976. Although she has made her home in Portland since then, she now spends time each year in Europe doing readings and workshops.

She is the author of three poetry collections (Horses and the Human Soul, History and Geography, and Trying to be an Honest Woman), two chapbooks (Postcard from the Bottom of the Sea and Lost Lands), a prizewinning memoir (Lifesaving: A Memoir ), and a text on writing literary memoir Writing the Memoir: From Truth to Art), which is used in numerous writing programs. She has also recorded a CD of selected poems titled Harvest.

Judith B is on the faculty of the Universtiy of Alaska's MFA program. Over the past twenty five years she has taught creative writing at various universities and at many summer writing workshops including the Port Townsend Writers' Conference at Centrum, Haystack, Split Rock, Fishtrap, the Ashland Writing Conference, the Hassayampa Writers' Conference in Prescott, Arizona, and Flight of the Mind, which she co-founded.

The two Judiths can always be counted on to put on a good show -- lots of lively discussion, good poetry, and interesting segues. To get a flavor of the event, here's a transcript of an email conversation between the two Judiths. We hope you can join us tonight at 7!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Brian Doyle is In The House!

With great excitement and admittedly more than a wee bit of trepidation, we remind you that Brian Doyle will be reading at Broadway Books tonight from his recently published collection of stories, Bin Laden's Bald Spot, published by Red Hen Press.

Brian Doyle, Brian Doyle. What more can we say about Brian Doyle, other than that he is one of our dearest friends, one of our favorite writers, and unquestionably one of the most animated authors ever to appear in our store. In fact he's appear many times, because we have a weakness for animated authors who are also brilliant and quick-witted and wise with words. His recently published novel, Mink River, which we told you about here, is currently the bestselling novel in our store for 2011. Here is a video clip of the book launch for Mink River. What a fun night that was!

So, here, in no particular order, are things you may or not know about Mr. Doyle:
  • He is the editor of Portland Magazine at the University of Portland
  • He has written a lot of books. Maybe twelve. I think. He writes essays, fiction, and "proems."
  • His work is frequently anthologized and has appeared in oodles of publications.
  • In 2008, he received the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature, for "murky reason" (according to the biographical note in his newest book).
  • The opening sentence of his book about wine-making in Oregon, The Grail: A Year Ambling & Shambling through an Oregon Vineyard in Pursuit of the Best Pinot Noir Wine in the Whole Wide World, opens with a 400-word sentence.
  • He is in a running battle with the writer David James Duncan over who can get the longest subtitle on the cover of a book. Surprisingly, he says he is losing.
  • The best thing that ever happened to him? Becoming a father, because it "completely destroyed any semblance of ego and arrogance -- you cannot be a dad and think you are cool."
  • He is the doting father of three. "On my gravestone I'd be proud if it read A GOOD DAD. Everything else is second."
  • One of his pet peeves is that our society and culture pay so much empty lip service to "family values" and children being the center of our lives, "but we do not act as we speak." Children go hungry, are homeless, lack health care, and are taught in understaffed schools.
  • One of his favorite books of 2009 was Alan Bennett's The Uncommon Reader. He is also a big fan of the Patrick O'Brian sea novels.
  • As an editor and a writer, Brian is intimately familiar with rejection notes. He says he sometimes daydreams about having them made up for all sorts of events in his life: Avoiding an argument with his wife (BRIAN DOYLE REGRETS THAT HE IS UNABLE TO PURSUE THIS MATTER) or sidestepping a sure-to-be-tedious meeting ((I WOULD PREFER TO HAVE MY SPLEEN REMOVED WITH A BUTTER KNIFE).
  • He once used the ampersand as a plot device. 
  • Brian says he has the most interesting marriage in history.
  • Brian says he "tries to tell small true stories and not draw conclusions or wax cosmic, just let the reader eat the stories and connect where he or she can."
  • One of his goals was to undermine Osama bin Laden's arrogrance by getting people to laugh at him.
In his newest book, Bin Laden's Bald Spot, Brian once again plays skillfully with words and phrasing, in stories that are sometimes very short with sentences that are sometimes very long. The stories bring to mind David Foster Wallace in their straightforward accounts of anything-but-straightforward events, of Raymond Carver in their blunt, unadorned dialogue, and of Julie Whitty in their willingness to believe what is happening even if it absolutely shouldn't be. Cynthia Ozick calls Brian Doyle "an extraordinary writer whose tales will endure." We couldn't agree more.

We hope you will join us tonight at 7 for the tornado of ideas and words we fondly know as Brian Doyle.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Burrito Blog Story Hits the Small Screen!

I'm sure many of you recall the Burrito Blog story from a few years back, in which a magical blog post by Roberta's son got Tweeted throughout the Twitterverse. Our customers -- new and old -- responded with great compassion and generosity, and a very sad December turned into a very festive December. Recently, Twitter Stories profiled Roberta and her son, Aaron, and retold the Burrito Blog story on video. [I can't watch it without a tear or two....]  Our copious thanks for the ongoing support of our wonderful customers who enable us to keep doing what we do: playing passionate matchmakers with books and readers.